Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi blasted the countries which possess atomic arsenals for their attempts to block Iran’s access to peaceful nuclear technology.

“How is it possible that a country which has 1,000 nuclear warheads and 300 ready-to-launch missiles claims to be fearful that Iran might develop atomic warheads,” Naqdi said, addressing a gathering in the Northeastern city of Mashhad on Tuesday.

Nine countries together possess more than 16,000 nuclear weapons. The United States and Russia maintain roughly 1,800 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status – ready to be launched within minutes of a warning. Most are many times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

In order of the estimated size of the nuclear arsenal, from largest to smallest, are: Russia, the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea.

FARS NEWS AGENCY

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